11/18/2017

My advocacy is showing again

This post needs to be started off with a trigger warning - tw for short. That's how we used to abbreviate the term when it started in my chat rooms years ago. I still use it. This post is a rant about something that came up in a Facebook group lately. My opinion to a question about teen sexual assault survivors is strong and partially unrestrained. Those who may not be in a safe place may wish to leave, and I understand that. To those who chose to remain, don't say that I didn't warn you.

TW - Scroll down for the rest of the post.

The question about teen sexual assault survivors who were virgins at the time of the assault is this... "When I was 15 years old I was raped. Am I still considered to be a virgin in the sight of God?"

Don't ask that in a group I'm in if you don't want my response. Respond I did. Many of us stated our belief that God views virgins as having an unchanged status. Deuteronomy tells us that victims of sexual assault have done nothing wrong. Nothing.

It was heartening to see that many people in the group were supportive of victims. Of those who responded only one held out. He said that he could see where I was coming from, but that he believes that victims do not remain virgins. My blood pressure raised as we exchanged more messages. He attempted to settle down the conversation by tossing out a suggestion. Maybe we should agree to disagree? I told him no.

Why no? The answer that is below is the cause of the trigger warning. Polite conversation about teen victims of sexual assault was over. I was pissed and here is the result.

TW------------------------------------------

     Facebook membername: This is why I choose not to agree to disagree about victims of sexual assault and why I never will.

     I have been in the trenches where evil lives and wiped the tears away of a teenager while her father and brothers stood outside the exam room waiting for word on their baby girl/ little sister. I have looked into the grief stricken face of a mother faced with reconciling her own victimization from years ago, while watching her own daughter endure a similar exam in a cold hospital room. I have seen a grown man cry as he opened up about how being victimized derailed his entire life.

     No, I will not agree to disagree because it means being okay with a world that allows soldiers access to a teenage girl during a war that she had no say in - while her powerless mother crumpled to the floor. 


     I will not agree to disagree because it means giving in to a world where pain is real and the boogeyman lives in the closet, but down the hall or next door. Most of all, I will not agree do disagree because it goes against what I feel and believe as a woman and as a Christian. 


     I refuse to equate violence with horrific aggression. A woman doesn't lose her virginity by being forced to endure a horrific act. She loses her virginity when she freely gives herself to someone she knows and cares about, to someone who makes her happy, who loves her in return and treats her like the princess that she is - the princess that God created her to be. A male victim loses his virginity when he is with someone he loves the first time time too. Not when he is raped.


     The question put to us had neither a female or male gender to it. To view this question in terms of penis/vagina contact fails to allow for the many men who are raped. It also doesn't count women who are forced by other women or men who are forced by women or the many ways a person can be raped with something other than a penis. 


     The question seems simple. Getting to the answer is complex. But, the answer itself is no, a victim does not lose virginity until she or he freely gives without coercion, violence or in anything other than love (or at least out of personal desire). 


Do I believe that a person loses virginity through violence? No! In the Old Testament, He tells us that if a man rapes a woman that he is to be put to death, not her. That nothing is to happen to her for she has done nothing wrong. God knows and judges the heart of each person more than we do.and I believe that he views victims of sexual assault as being innocent. The passage in Deuteronomy instructs us, even as his voice whispers to us. 
 
   Please believe me when I say that I respect you and wish that I could agree to disagree. Life would be simpler that way. But I can't, and I hope you can understand. If not, I'm sorry. Many other people do.

11/04/2017

Straight Talk wireless cell service offers points

I ditched traditional cell phone service about ten years ago and have been with prepaid wireless phones ever since. The only time that I have felt at a disadvantage is when I'm out of the country. The newer phones allow me to hook onto public wifi and ended that problem.

The prepaid wireless providers that I've used are AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Of them, the one that I have enjoyed the most and been with the longest is StraightTalk. Choosing a network can be a little tricky. Verizon is just about the only carrier near my home. StraightTalk offers phones on both AT&T and Verizon.

Getting a phone that's not on AT&T can be challenging. Walmart employees have sold me a few phones that were on the wrong network. Looking at the box will tell you which provider the phone works with (at least in this area). The map of the U.S. on the box is the indicator. The blue map indicated AT&T. If the U.S. is in red, the phone is on the Verizon network. Some employees have tried telling me it doesn't matter. However, it does.

Straight Talk has a nice rewards program. I just got $10 a Valvoline oil change. Seeing what's available is as simple as setting up an account when you buy the first phone. After that, just access it under the "rewards" tab to see what coupons, promo codes or discounts are available in your area.

Speaking of promos. Right now, it's possible to earn extra points. Just go to StraightTalk.com to switch. and then enroll in Rewards with referral code (OTYF-74CA). This way, we can both bank 1000 bonus points. That’s a quarter of the way to a free service plan! Plus, the phone service is very reliable.

StraightTalk wireless is more than phone service. They offer hotspots and other services in addition to cell phones. It's been a convenient and economical phone provider for me. The might be a good service for you to have as well.

10/29/2017

Owning A Service Dog: What They Don't Tell You YouTube video

Friday is known as "Service Dog Friday" on my YouTube channel. Our topic for this is what they don't tell you about service dog ownership. We hear about the success stories and about times when teams, especially veterans who have service dogs are kicked out or denied services. We seldom hear about the problems with access that fall in between or other issues about owning a service dog.

It's not a bed of roses. My experience at the Safra Family Lodge at the NIH is well documented with footage. I haven't talked about times on vacation when a hotel tried charging me a pet fee or about when another hotel refused me citing a "no pets" policy. The instances are too numerous. Those are the routine things that service dog handlers don't focus on but need to be talked about. 

Topics come from comments guests leave. They also come from tweets or posts on my Facebook page. So please, leave your comment below or on my page. I'm also open for possible collabs with other service dog owners on YouTube or off. Be sure to mention that in the comments or email me at gayle@gaylecrabtre.com.

This is the What they Don't Tell You video. It's part of my larger Servce Dog Video Playlist. The link will come up at the end of this one. To make it easier to find, I'll link it here as well.